The Gingko Library is a UK registered charity with the mission to preserve and promote education and information on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). The charitable objects of the charity are pursued through academic publications, annual conferences and the Gingko Scholarship, which are set to take place over a period of 10 years. The Gingko Library was established in 2014 in the memory of Werner Mark Linz, the late publisher of the American University in Cairo Press. Dr Barbara Schwepcke, trustee of the Gingko Library and publisher of Haus Publishing, explains that Werner Mark Linz 'always thought big. So it is not surprising that his last plan was a 10-year project of dialogues and 100 publications “to preserve and promote the genius of Arab Civilization” as he put it.'
The inaugural Gingko Library Conference was held at SOAS in December 2014, and addressed the aftermath of the First World War in the Middle East. Scholars who participated included, for example, Najwa Al Qattan, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, who focused on Lebanese civilian responses to the war by focusing on writers’ and poets’ use of history and notions of identity and community, and Dr Amany Soliman of Alexandria University, who examined the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the perception of foreigners in the country from 1914 to 1923. The 2015 Gingko Library Conference focused on the 1906 Persian Constitutional Revolution, and took place at the British Academy on the 14, 15 and 16 of September, co-convened by Prof. Ali Ansari, president of the British Institute of Persian Studies.
In January 2015, the Gingko Library published Democracy is the Answer: Egypt's Years of Revolution, a collection of newspaper columns written for Al-Masry Al-Youm between 2011 and 2014 by Egyptian novelist Alaa Al-Aswany. At the 2015 London Book Fair, the Gingko Library acquired World English rights to the uncollected non-fiction of the only Arab Nobel Laureate for Literature: Naguib Mahfouz. The rights were signed at the 2014 Sharjah International Book Fair and the translation of Mahfouz's work will be supported by the festival's grants programme. The body of writing will be published in four volumes in the period 2015 - 2017.